Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain Adventure Sneak Preview!
I just came back from PAX East at a private Blizzard event to test out the first wing of the new Blackrock Mountain Expansion and it’s totally awesome! The first wing features a match against a Dark Iron Dwarf named Coren Direbrew. His hero power summons a random minion for each player onto his/her battlefield to give life to the bar-like environment that the Hearthstone match occurs in. As you can imagine, these games quickly get out of hand as legendaries and other huge minions are being constantly supplied for both sides on every turn. The only way I managed to keep up was with and with cheap class removal spells like or even . The normal challenge was definitely fun but was a bit on the easier side. The heroic mode though was almost impossible at first as now Coren Direbrew summons two random minions for himself and only one for you. However, this hero power becomes a drawback in the long run as he decks out much faster than your deck does and you can continue to benefit from the free summons each turn. The challenge then became surviving the first couple turns and once I figured that out, it was easier to complete.
After talking with Eric Dodds, Blizzard’s lead designer for Hearthstone, the Blackrock expansion comes from expansive lore and memorable characters in the Warcraft world. This expansion would play just like how Naxxramas did, with similar pricing. The normal modes would unlock cards upon completion and each of these modes would open per week as a part of four or five challenges that would each give new cards. Additionally, there would be class challenges that would give the class card. To my delight, he added that the funny comments would also remain since despite the dark nature of Warcraft, Hearthstone takes a different, more lighter spin on the same theme. Also, we discussed the new possibility of having dragon decks. This was extremely exciting from my MTG and Yugioh backgrounds, as these creatures used to be the central point of many other card games. Now in Hearthstone, they finally are given the opportunity to have their own deck archetype. There is little doubt that these new cards are going to shake up the metagame in both arena and constructed and I’m excited that it will be coming soon in April, only one month away!